Business development is a relatively new term given to jobs centered around personally finding potential customers in the marketplace and turning them into loyal, repeat purchasers. If that sounds familiar, it’s because business development is simply a fancy word for direct sales. The “business development” term is a perfect example of how to market direct sales jobs; it is all about stressing the advantages and downplaying the difficulties.
- Tie compensation directly into performance, and include potential pay ranges in job advertisements. Sales professionals can perform at higher levels when their compensation is directly tied to their sales outcomes. Use wording such as “Our business development professionals have the opportunity to earn a six-figure income in their first year,” as long as the statement is accurate. Stress the fact that top-performers can earn large sums of money without having to climb the corporate ladder for years; do not mention the fact that two-thirds of new hires will quit within the first month without making much money at all, as is common in direct sales positions.
- Target college students with business majors and recent graduates looking to break into the business world. Market the jobs as opportunities to work in a professional atmosphere and put skills gained in college to work in the real world to attract educated applicants with internal drives to succeed. Rent a table at local college job fairs, post job advertisements on university job boards and tack job advertisement flyers on college campus bulletin boards to reach students in your area.
- Create a management and branch ownership advancement track, and stress the opportunity in job advertisements. Market the job opportunity as a way to work into a position of management based solely on performance. If your company’s core competency is business development, create an advancement track that assists your top performers in building their own companies, within their own new territories, licensing the brand and operational models of the main company.
- Offer benefits to your full-time employees if possible. Full benefits can give your company an advantage over competitors in the eyes of recent college graduates and experienced professionals alike. Go the extra mile to ensure that you take care of your business development professionals, since sales can be a high-energy, high-stress position. Let potential job applicants know that you care for your sales staff and do whatever you can to reward them for their hard work.